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Google Display Network Best Practices In A First-Party Cookie World



With first-party data becoming more relevant and third-party cookies becoming a thing of the past, this leaves marketers questioning, how can I best prepare? With these changes, remarketing will likely be limited. We’ll instead focus more on targeting users with certain interests or browsing habits. This results in limited capabilities when it comes to reaching certain markets. The time is now to test new audience methods in Google Display Network.

Regarding new privacy laws, how do we best prepare for the unknown? Well, just like anything in life, you can’t cover your bases fully, but you can do your best to prepare. Read on to learn more!

So, What Are Third Party Cookies?

Simply put, cookies remember things such as login details, products added to cart, etc. First-party cookies are created by the original domain, third-party cookies are created by other domains. A first-party cookie can only be accessed by the original site, where third-party cookies can be accessed by anybody, given you download the third party code.

How Does This Relate To Me? 

As digital marketers, knowing what platforms and what strategies resonate with certain areas of the marketing funnel is our bread and butter. Typically, awareness is at the top of the funnel, followed by consideration and conversion.

One of my clients has been heavily testing Display on the Google Display Network. This has given me the opportunity to test a multitude of methods, discovering what works, what doesn’t, and what is worth testing. I will start off with the basics of best practices for GDN followed by audiences I recommend testing.

The Basics

Below are a few basic things you can do to improve click-through rates in your display ads. Ensuring you follow best practices ensures optimal campaign performance.

  • Optimize Towards Your Desired Goal (Settings — campaign settings) – Ensure your campaign goal is optimizing towards your desired goal. Google campaigns allow you to optimize towards leads, website traffic, or sales. See screencap below.
  • Exclude Placements on Sites With Sensitive Content – (Settings — Account Settings) – By eliminating sites with sensitive content, you can protect your brand integrity by ensuring ads are not shown on sites with explicit content. Your brand is associated with what site assets are shown on, so it is vital to minimize irrelevant content.
  • Exclude unwanted placements – Add negative placements for sites you don’t want to appear on. You can see what sites are not converting by looking at, ‘where your ads appeared.’ I tested eliminating YouTube as a negative placement and it increased CTR (click-through rate) by 1% in a 2 week period.
  • Ensure Asset Quality is Enticing – Ensure you have high-quality images where it’s clear what the purpose of the ad is. Ads featuring people tend to have higher click-through rates.
  • Optimize Towards Best Performing Ads – (Settings – Campaign Settings – Additional Settings) – By optimizing towards best-performing ads, Google will show users ads more likely to get more clicks or conversions.

Campaign and Ad Group Structure 

Like any marketing structure, specifically in GDN (Google Display Network), it’s important to have a proper account structure. Your campaign should be based on a certain topic. For example, since I’m a coffee addict, let’s use Dunkin’ Donuts Hazelnut Coffee grounds as our campaign name. I picked a specific product (or focus) intentionally to get as granular as I can. I recommend creating the following ad groups based on the following custom audiences.

  • Keywords – Create a custom audience based on people searching for relevant terms. Creating a keyword-based audience will show ads to people searching for certain terms. Below is a screencap of an audience used for one of my biotech clients.
  • Competitors – By creating a competitor audience, you can input your competitor’s sites under, ‘or people who browse websites similar to.’ Google will show your ads to folks who view your competitor’s sites
  • Vertical Targeting – Add in observation mode initially to not limit your audience. Add custom affinity audiences, demographics, or in-market audiences to target your ideal customer!
  • Remarketing – Ensure you have a proper remarketing tag set up on your site so you can show ads to folks who have already visited your site.
  • Prospecting – Create a ‘similar to’ audience. This capability will likely be limited with the use of third-party cookies in the near future, but doing so will allow you to gauge demographics such as age and marital status for future targeting

In conclusion 

Well, there you have it friends. My best practices for GDN. May the odds be in your favor and happy targeting!



8 Best Tactics to Lead a Team with Zero Experience



8 Best Tactics to Lead a Team with Zero Experience

‘How to lead a team?’

This is a burning question for team leads, especially first-time managers.

The ultimate purpose of team leads is to encourage and help their team deliver peak performance while nurturing their skills. They need to establish clear expectations and supervise their team to achieve business goals efficiently.

However, developing effective leadership skills requires considerable experience. To lead a team with zero experience can be thus daunting and overwhelming.

If you are a first-time manager, you should embark on your journey by understanding your role and responsibilities. Taking small yet thoughtful steps will help you develop essential leadership skills.

In this post, we will share the eight best tactics that will help you lead a team with zero experience.

Key Tips to Lead a Team with No Experience

Here’s the comprehensive list of best tips and practices to help you lead a team successfully.


#1: Admit Experience Limitations to Your Team

Helen Hayes once quoted –

“The expert at anything was once a beginner.”

These words accurately describe the fact that one cannot earn expertise overnight. It takes determination, time, and hard work to sail through the process.

So, if you want your team to thrive, you need to be honest with your team. Don’t conceal the fact that you lack leadership experience. Admitting experience limitations to your team will make them considerate of your situation. This will create a bond of understanding between you and your teammates.

Here are a few tips that’ll help you overcome your experience limitations.

  • Stay Focused: Unless you understand the client’s requirements, you won’t be able to guide your team. So, keep a sharp focus on everyday tasks.
  • Be Proactive: Participate actively in all the tasks to keep your team engaged and motivated.
  • Embrace Humility: Be open to listening to your team’s perspective. Embracing different viewpoints will help you deal with tricky situations with ease.

#2: Have the Confidence to Lead a Team

According to Gallup, managers that lead a team successfully have the following traits.

  • Ability to motivate and engage their team
  • Assertiveness to drive outcomes
  • Confidence to overcome adversity
  • Ability to build transparent relationships

Out of these traits, confidence is the most pivotal.

The reason? A leader’s confidence impacts their team’s confidence.

While it’s true that you lack experience, it doesn’t mean you can’t lead a team and make it big.


Don’t let your experience impact your confidence.

Develop a constructive mindset to empower your team. Focus on improving your problem-solving skills and get involved with your team in the projects. Understand your teammates’ strengths and weaknesses to gauge their potential, thereby delegating tasks to the right people.

Show your human side and stay honest about everything to be approachable. If you commit a mistake, accept it openly in front of everyone. This will make your teammates comfortable working with you.

The key is to lead by example. This will help you stay confident and increase your chances of achieving desired business outcomes.

#3: Create Open Door Communication Policy

An open-door policy signifies a set of protocols encouraging employees to discuss their queries, challenges, or suggestions with their senior-level managers.

Since communication is a key to building efficient teams, an open-door policy can be a game-changer for you. It can help create and maintain a transparent and unbiased work environment by improving the communication between you and your team.

No wonder, leading companies like IBM follow an open-door policy to promote effective communication at the workplace.

Here are a few tips to consider.

  • Communicate Expectations: Create a brief outline stating the communication rules. Further, educate your team about how it works and its benefits.
  • Set Boundaries: Providing a solid communication ground to your team is good, but without boundaries, it can lead to the loss of valuable time.

For instance, you can allow your employees to walk in the cabin at any instant. If this doesn’t seem feasible, you can standardize the process. Ask your team to book an appointment for the discussion.

#4: Reach Out to Experts for Assistance

Dealing with conflicts, doubts, and distractions may seem draining as you progress in your managerial journey.

Take the help of a mentor to cope with tricky situations.

An experienced mentor can help you develop decision-making skills while gaining a new perspective on leading a team. With their guidance, you can move on an upward trajectory and establish yourself as a strong leader.

Here are a few ways to connect to an experienced mentor for guidance.

  • Professional Network: Reach out to people in your professional network with expertise, experience, and industry knowledge.
  • Social Media: Leverage the power of social media channels like LinkedIn, Reddit, and Quora. These platforms have a plentitude of subject matter experts and industry leaders.
  • Comprehensive Platforms: Count on platforms like GrowthMentor and TheMuse to discover the best leaders from your industry.

Pro Tip: Become a part of the About Leaders community, where industry leaders share valuable advice and tips on positive leadership. Reading researched and well-written blog posts shared by experts on About Leaders will help you develop a leader-like mindset, thereby preparing you for success.

Besides, you can enroll in leadership-building courses by About Leaders, trusted by 30,000 international leaders.

#5: Set Clear and Realistic Expectations

Setting clear and realistic expectations for your team reduces the chances of project failure. It helps the team members understand their responsibilities and create a solid strategy to meet the expectations.

Here are a few tips for setting clear expectations.

  • Emphasize Goals: Define actionable objectives for each member. The goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (S.M.A.R.T).
  • Make Employees Accountable: Set milestones according to your team members’ skills and experiences. Set realistic deadlines to ensure successful project completion.
  • Track Your Team’s Progress: Keep a tab on your team’s progress by implementing productivity tracking tools like Trello and Toggl. These project management platforms can help you monitor your team’s performance, thereby boosting the chances of your success.
  • Share Timely and Honest Feedback: According to ClearCompany, daily feedback improves employees’ engagement by 3x. So, try offering feedback at the end of the day or at least in a week to boost team collaboration.  

#6: Provide Resources to Help Your Team

To be a good leader, you should support your team with a well-constructed tech stack. This will not just simplify and streamline their tasks but also increase their trust in you as a leader.  

For instance, if you are leading a team of sales reps, implementing customer relationship management (CRM) software can help your team collect customers’ data. This can boost their work efficiency and help them achieve their goals.


The key here is to talk to the team and understand their challenges. Based on pain points, offer resources like task automation tools, communication platforms, and CRMs. This will help your team communicate, collaborate, and stay organized and efficient.

Pro Tip: Create a culture of learning and knowledge-sharing by organizing brainstorming sessions. Allow your team to collaborate once a week and discuss innovative ideas. You can even arrange monthly webinars or seminars by inviting guest speakers. This will foster a happy and productive environment, thereby keeping your team motivated.

#7: Ask For Feedback at the End of the Project

As a first-time manager, you should keep learning and improving your leadership skills.

Your team’s feedback on your leadership can help you lead with high effectiveness.

So, ask your team what went right and wrong during the task.

Here are a few crucial questions to consider:

  • In what ways can I improve team communication and time management?
  • Did I do justice to my role?
  • What skills can help me lead a team efficiently?
  • Do you consider me a fair and unbiased leader?
  • Do you trust me for our upcoming projects?

Encourage them to offer honest feedback on your role as a leader. This can help you understand your team’s perspective on your leadership style.

#8: Reward Your Team for a Good Job

Acknowledge and reward your team for a job well done.

This will let your team know their contribution and effort are highly valued and appreciated.


What’s more? Appreciation can boost their morale and motivate them to perform even better in the future.

Notice the following screenshot of a survey conducted by O. C. Tanner. As you can see, it reveals that employee recognition is the most vital driver of great work.

Here are a few tips to reward your team.

  • Offer Time-Off: Allow your team to take some time off and unwind. This will promote a healthy work culture.
  • Share Thoughtful Gifts: Give small gifts such as chair massages, movie tickets, and more.
  • Offer Non-Monetary Gifts: Rewards don’t need to be monetary always. You can give them a quick shoutout in an email with kind words. This will make them feel valued.

Summing Up

Team management is a challenging task.

Lack of experience can make it further difficult for first-time team leads to justify their role. They need skills, a learning attitude, and patience to develop a good rapport with their teammates.

The shared tips can boost your confidence and help you establish yourself as a trustworthy leader. So, follow these tactics to find your footing as a manager.

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